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Tory MP defends social care tax rise described as 'unfair' by Labour group

High Peak's Conservative MP has defended the government's new Health and Social Care tax, but the plan has been described as 'absolutely unfair' by Glossopdale Labour. 

On Tuesday (7 September), Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a 1.25 per cent rise in National Insurance from April 2022 - a move which broke an election manifesto pledge in 2019. 

The government hope it will raise £12 billion a year to tackle the NHS backlog caused by the coronavirus pandemic and overhaul the way social care is funded - which includes capping care costs in England at £86,000. 

The extra payment of National Insurance, which working people and their employers pay to ensure benefits like the state pension, will become a separate tax on earned income from April 2023 - called the Health and Social Care Levy - which will show up separately on payslips. 

But a spokesperson for Glossopdale Labour says the plan doesn't go far enough. 

They said: "The government plan to reform does not address the crises now which is related to social care for working age adults - people with a learning disability, autistic people to ensure they receive the right care at the right time. Therefore it is a sticking plaster.

"The NHS is funded through general taxation and is free at the point of delivery and adult social care isn't. The plan does nothing to address this fundamental issue.

"Using National Insurance to fund this is in effect a tax on working people and is absolutely unfair. In relation to this, it makes it difficult to believe what the Tories say in relation to tax and spend." 

High Peak MP Robert Largan says the 'huge unplanned extra costs' of the pandemic have 'blown a huge hole in the government's long-term spending plans'. 

He commented: "To govern is to choose and to deal with the world as it is, not how you'd like it to be. Given the astronomical costs of the pandemic, we need to be pragmatic and practical. Most importantly, elected representatives need to be honest.

"I've no doubt that some less than scrupulous politicians will attempt to score points and claim that we can deal with the huge cost of Covid and fix our social care system without you needing to pay a little more. They will do this without providing any sort of alternative plan themselves.

"I believe that most people are sensible and understand why these difficult decisions need to be made. Of course, the devil is often in the detail. I will be carefully scrutinising the government's proposals in the coming days and weeks." 

After debating the plan in the House of Commons on Wednesday, MPs voted it through by 319 to 248. 

Opposition MPs voted against the rise but the government, which has a majority of more than 80, comfortably won the vote.

Five Conservatives - Sir Christopher Chope, Philip Davies, Neil Hudson, Esther McVey and John Redwood - voted against the changes, while 37 Conservative MPs abstained.

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